Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Almost Fireless cooker part 2- how to use.

In the previous post, I posted a tutorial on making a simple fireless cooker. Today I would like to share how to use the cooker.

At 10:00 am this morning I put two cups of water in my pot. I placed the pot on our woodstove to warm the water. We have had quite a cold spell so our woodstove has been pretty warm. My intention was to use the cookstove as little as possible, so if I put warm or hot water on the cookstove to boil it will use even less fuel. The whole purpose of this exercise is to conserve cooking fuel. When I checked the water it was at a slow boil. I put the pot on the cookstove and brought the water to a roiling boil. I poured one cup of short sweet brown rice in to the pot. I put my pot on the cork hotpad, then covered my pot with the cozy.
Two hours later the pot was still warm. When I opened the pot, however, the rice had not really absorbed the water. I had it on the counter in the kitchen. This corner is pretty chilly and furthest 1st floor corner from our woodstove. So I heated the water up again. Replaced cozy and cover and put the cooker near the woodstove.
One hour later, I had some mighty fine looking brown rice. I put in some homemade tomato soup I had made for dinner the evening before. So not only did I save fuel but I also stretched a soup for a few more meals.
I am not sure if I should have waited three hours or whether it was a matter of a different location. I am leaning towards location.

I would like to make a larger version of the hay box cooker, such as this one. We have a small cubby located next to the woodstove. I am thinking that we could build a small cupboard for this corner. When I cook on the wood stove I do not have a really good place to put a spoon rest, pot holder and the cover of the pot with whatever homemade goodness inside. I could put the fireless cooker on the bottom of the cabinet and a little shelf for stacking the newspaper that we use for kindling.


Julie said...

Wow, I love this! I had never heard of this before I can't wait to try it.

Carol said...

Try this with pasta.

norma said...

When my Mom was growing up, they had rice cooked in milk every Sunday for lunch. In the morning, my Grandma would bring the rice and milk to a boil on the wood-burning cookstove, then wrap the pot in towels and put it in the bed. When they got back from church, the rice was done.

Anonymous said...

So why not just bring the water to a boil add rice and leave it on the stove that has been turned off? I have heard that to boil eggs you can bring the water with the eggs to a boil and turn the stove off leaving them covered and 15 minutes later they are fully cooked. I love the pot covers. I grew up near a wood stove and I miss the sweet smell of the wood burning!

Jennifer said...

This is a good idea!

There are all kinds of recipes made with dehydrated foods that cook this way if you search around for backpacking recipes. If you cook the rice, then dehydrate it, it could cook up again using your cozy in much less than 3 hours... There's just way more prep time (presumably during the summer) involved.

Alla said...

I really like this idea! I'm going to try it. Got to get busy knitting the covers. I found your blog and love it. I'm joining to follow.

Fleecenik Farm said...

Anonymous, I think the reason you put the covers on this is to retain the heat. Not only was the rice cooked but it was hot and ready to eat.

Jennifer, I dehydrate a lot of food in the summer as part of our garden preservation. I love the idea of using this for re-hydrating.

Carol, I think I will try several other experiments with this and other foods and see what the results are. I think a pasta like couscous or risotto might work but I wonder if the pasta needs a boil it to the right texture. This might make the pasta too starchy. But I'll give it a try and post on it later.